When Should I Be Concerned If My Dog Has Been Scooting? – Pet Health FAQs

Have you noticed your dog dragging their butt across the ground lately? Are you wondering, ‘when should I be concerned if my dog has been scooting’ and looking for more information? The good news is that this is completely normal behavior for dogs with an itchy rear end. Even so, it can be cause for concern and may be a sign of a serious underlying issue requiring immediate veterinary attention. Let’s have a look at what you can look out for when your pup is scooting.


Reasons For Scooting

There are many reasons a dog may start scooting. When a dog experiences an itchy butt or pain in the area, their natural response is to try alleviating the itch by dragging their rear end across the ground. The root cause of this itch or pain, however, varies greatly and can require immediate medical attention. A few key causes for this are:


●       Foul odor from area

●       Matting or fecal build-up

●       Biting and licking the area

●       Worms or white flecks in the region

●       Discharge from area


If any of these conditions are present, your pup may be experiencing discomfort and thus resorting to scooting.


Anal Sac Problems

The number one reason behind your dog’s discomfort is a blocked, full, or impacted anal sac. Sometimes a dog’s anal sac can become impacted or blocked causing pain and discomfort. The issue is often paired with a foul odor from the area and an unusual discharge. Your vet can take a closer look at this issue for you and make sure all precautions are taken, and any required treatments are provided. 


Dried, Stuck Fecal Matter

In many cases – and the least of concern – your dog has a build up of feces in the area that is causing discomfort. Over time, this causes a lot of burning and intense itchiness that spurns the scooting. Simply clean up the area in a bath or with a warm soapy cloth, and you’ll have a happy pup in no time.



In some cases, if your dog has intestinal parasites (worms), they may resort to scooting. This is not always the case, however, and is typically not the main reason for scooting behavior. Even so, if your pet is experiencing a tapeworm infestation, they may resort to scooting to alleviate the itchiness. You can look for tapeworms by visually inspecting the area to see if there are any signs. If found, get treatment immediately. You won’t always see them, though, so if you suspect an infestation make sure to contact your vet for further inspection.


Cysts, Tumors, Growths

In some very rare occurrences, your dog may have a growth that is affecting the area. Your dog may be experiencing tumor growth around the anal glands requiring immediate veterinary attention. Watch out for unusual discharge and contact your vet if any abnormalities are found.


Rectal Prolapse

Rectal prolapse is a very serious condition caused by excessive constipation or diarrhea. It is characterized by a small portion of a dog’s lower intestine protruding from the anus. This is extremely painful for your pet and requires immediate medical attention. If you notice this protruding mass, visit your emergency animal clinic immediately.


Final Thoughts

Scooting is a common way for your dog to relieve an itch he can’t scratch. The itch can arise due to a series of factors from basic hygiene mishaps to very serious health conditions. If you’re wondering when you should be concerned if your dog has been scooting, you should now be better prepared to handle the situation. Remember, always reach out to your vet when you notice unusual behavior or can see obvious signs of a problem. Contact us today, and we can have a quick look at your pup to make sure everything is looking good.

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